Megarian got on board a trader, and having stowed away their most valuable effects, set sail for home; most people explained the act as the outcome of a fit of jealousy, because Cyrus had allowed Clearchus to retain their men, who had deserted to him, in hopes of returning to Hellas instead of marching against the king; when the two had so vanished, a rumour spread that Cyrus was after them with some ships of war, and some hoped the cowards might be caught, others pitied them, if that should be their fate.

But Cyrus summoned the generals and addressed them: 'Xenias and 8 Pasion,' he said, 'have taken leave of us; but they need not flatter themselves that in so doing they have stolen into hiding. I know where they are gone; nor will they owe their escape to speed; I have men-of-war to capture their craft, if I like. But heaven help me! if I mean to pursue them: never shall it be said of me, that I turn people to account as long as they stay with me, but as soon as they are minded to be off, I seize and maltreat them, and strip them of their wealth. Not so! let them go with the consciousness that our behaviour to them is better than theirs to us. And yet I have their children and wives safe under lock and key in Tralles; but they shall not be deprived even of these. They shall receive them back in return for their former goodness to me.' So he spoke, and the Hellenes, even those who had been out of heart at the thought of marching up the country, when they heard of the nobleness of Cyrus, were happier and more eager to follow him on his path.

After this Cyrus marched onwards four stages--twenty parasangs--to the river Chalus. That river is a hundred feet broad, and is stocked with tame fish which the Syrians regard as gods, and will not suffer to be injured--and so too the pigeons of the place. The villages in which they encamped belonged to Parysatis, as part of her girdle money[1]. From this point he marched on five stages--thirty parasangs--to the sources of the river Dardas, which is a hundred feet broad. Here stood the palace of Belesys, the ruler of Syria, with its park--which was a very large and beautiful one, and full of the products of all the seasons in their course. But Cyrus cut down the park and burnt the palace. Thence he marched on three stages--fifteen parasangs--to the river Euphrates, which is nearly half a mile broad. A large and 11 flourishing city, named Thapsacus, stands on its banks. Here they halted five days, and here Cyrus sent for the generals of the Hellenes, and told them that the advance was now to be upon Babylon, against the great king; he bade them communicate this information to the soldiers and persuade them to follow. The generals called an assembly, and announced the news to the soldiers. The latter were indignant and angry with the generals, accusing them of having kept secret what they had long known; and refused to go, unless such a bribe of money were given them as had been given to their predecessors, when they went up with Cyrus to the court of his father, not as now to fight a battle, but on a peaceful errand--the visit of a son to his father by invitation. The demand was reported to Cyrus by the generals, and he undertook to give each man five silver minae as soon as Babylon was reached, and their pay in full, until he had safely conveyed them back to Ionia again. In this manner the Hellenic force were persuaded--that is to say, the majority of them. Menon, indeed, before it was clear what the rest of the soldiers would do--whether, in fact they would follow Cyrus or not--collected his own troops apart and made them the following speech; 'Men,' he said, 'if you will listen to me, there is a method by which, without risk or toil, you may win the special favour of Cyrus beyond the rest of the soldiers. You ask what it is I would have you to do? I will tell you. Cyrus at this instant is begging the Hellenes to follow him to attack the king. I say then: Cross the Euphrates at once, before it is clear what answer the rest will make; if they vote in favour of following, you will get the credit of having set the example, and Cyrus will be grateful to you. He will look upon you as being the heartiest in his cause; he will repay, as of all others he best knows how; while, if the rest vote against crossing, we shall go back again; but as the sole adherents, whose fidelity he can altogether trust, it is you whom Cyrus will turn to account, as commandants of garrisons or captains of companies. You need only ask him for whatever you want, and you will get it from him, as being the friends of Cyrus.

[1] Cf. Plat. 'Alcib.' i. 123 B. 'Why, I have been informed by a credible person, who went up to the king (at Susa), that he passed through a large tract of excellent land, extending for nearly a day's journey, which the people of the country called the queen's girdle, and another which they called her veil,' etc. Olympiodorus and the Scholiast both think that Plato here refers to Xenophon and this passage of the 'Anabasis.' Grote thinks it very probable that Plato had in his mind Xenophon (either his 'Anabasis' or personal communications with him).

The men heard and obeyed, and before the rest had given their answer, they were already across. But when Cyrus perceived that Menon's troops 16 had crossed, he was well pleased, and he sent Glus to the division in question, with this message: 'Soldiers, accept my thanks at present; eventually you shall thank me. I will see to that, or my name is not Cyrus.' The soldiers therefore could not but pray heartily for his success; so high their hopes ran. But to Menon, it was said, he sent gifts with lordly liberality. This done, Cyrus proceeded to cross; and in his wake followed the rest of the armament to a man. As they forded, never a man was wetted above the chest: nor ever until this moment, said the men of Thapascus, had the river been so crossed on foot, boats had always been required; but these, at the present time, Abrocomas, in his desire to hinder Cyrus from crossing, had been at pains to burn. Thus the passage was looked upon as a thing miraculous; the river had manifestly retired before the face of Cyrus, like a courtier bowing to his future king. From this place he continued his march through Syria nine stages--fifty parasangs--and they reached the river Araxes. Here were several villages full of corn and wine; in which they halted three days, and provisioned the army.


Thence he marched on through Arabia, keeping the Euphrates on the 1 right, five desert stages--thirty-five parasangs. In this region the ground was one long level plain, stretching far and wide like the sea, full of absinth; whilst all the other vegetation, whether wood or reed, was sweet scented like spice or sweet herb; there were no trees; but there was wild game of all kinds--wild asses in greatest abundance, with plenty of ostriches; besides these, there were bustards and antelopes. These creatures were occasionally chased by the cavalry. The asses, when pursued, would run forward a space, and then stand still--their pace being much swifter than that of horses; and as soon as the horses came close, they went through the same performance. The only way to catch them was for the riders to post themselves at intervals, and to hunt them in relays, as it were. The flesh of those they captured was not unlike venison, only more tender. No one was lucky enough to capture an ostrich. Some of the troopers did give chase, but it had soon to be abandoned; for the bird, in its effort to escape, speedily put a long interval between itself and its 3 pursuers; plying its legs at full speed, and using its wings the while like a sail. The bustards were not so hard to catch when started suddenly; for they only take short flights, like partridges, and are soon tired. Their flesh is delicious.

As the army wended its way through this region, they reached the river Mascas, which is one hundred feet in breadth. Here stood a big deserted city called Corsote, almost literally environed by the stream, which flows round it in a circle. Here they halted three days and provisioned themselves. Thence they continued their march thirteen desert stages--ninety parasangs--with the Euphrates still on their right, until they reached the Gates. On these marches several of the baggage animals perished of hunger, for there was neither grass nor green herb, or tree of any sort; but the country throughout was barren. The inhabitants make their living by quarrying millstones on the river banks, which they work up and take to Babylon and sell, purchasing corn in exchange for their goods. Corn failed the army, and was not to be got for money, except in the Lydian market open in Cyrus's Asiatic army; where a kapithe of wheat or barley cost four shekels; the shekel being equal to seven and a half Attic obols, whilst the kapithe is the equivalent of two Attic choeneces[1], dry measure, so that the soldiers subsisted on meat alone for the whole period. Some of the stages were very long, whenever they had to push on to find water or fodder; and once they found themselves involved in a narrow way, where the deep clay presented an obstacle to the progress of the wagons. Cyrus, with the nobles about him, halted to superintend the operation, and ordered Glus and Pigres to take a body of barbarians and to help in extricating the wagons. As they seemed to be slow about the business, he turned round angrily to the Persian nobles and bade them lend a hand to force the wagons out. Then, if ever, what goes to constitute one branch of good discipline, was to be witnessed. Each of those addressed, just where he chanced to be 8 standing, threw off his purple cloak, and flung himself into the work with as much eagerness as if it had been a charge for victory. Down a steep hill side they flew, with their costly tunics and embroidered trousers-- some with the circlets round their necks, and bracelets on their arms--in an instant, they had sprung into the miry clay, and in less time than one could have conceived, they had landed the wagons safe on terra firma.

[1] The choenix = about 1 quart (or, according to others, 1 1/2 pint). It was the minimum allowance of corn for a man, say a slave, per diem. The Spartan was allowed at the public table 2 choenices a day.

Altogether it was plain that Cyrus was bent on pressing on the march, and averse to stoppages, except where he halted for the sake of provisioning or some other necessary object; being convinced that the more rapidly he advanced, the less prepared for battle would he find the king; while the slower his own progress, the larger would be the hostile army which he would find collected. Indeed, the attentive observer could see, at a glance, that if the

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